Mar 12, 2024 Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus Highlights the Important Role Sleep Plays in Overall Health and Wellness

World Sleep Day is March 15, an observance designed to raise awareness of sleep health. And according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), there is an important connection between your sleep and your health and well-being. That’s why Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC) want to raise awareness about the importance of a good night’s sleep.

Douglas Livornese, MD“Sleep plays a critical role in our overall health and wellness — it’s just as important as diet and exercise,” said Douglas Livornese, MD, a sleep medicine specialist board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Sleep Medicine and Medical Director of MMC’s Sleep Disorders Center. “Regularly getting a full night’s sleep can not only influence your energy level and appearance, but it also has a significant impact on your physical and psychological health, including the ability to learn new information, stay at a healthy weight and lower your risk for developing chronic illnesses.”

A “full night’s sleep” can vary slightly from person to person, but as a guideline, the NSF recommends that teenagers (ages 14-17) get eight to 10 hours of sleep, adults (ages 18-64) get seven to nine hours and older adults (65+) get seven to eight hours each night.

“Adequate sleep helps to improve your memory and decision making, boost your immune system to help you get sick less often, improve your mood and reduce stress, improves, and helps to avoid accidents and injuries,” added Dr. Livornese, who also serves as President of MMC’s Medical Staff.

Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, has tremendous negative effects on your overall health and wellness.

“The cumulative long-term effects of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders have been associated with an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke,” said Dr. Livornese. “Sleep deprivation puts individuals three times more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and at a 48 percent increase in risk for developing heart disease. Getting the proper amount of sleep can help you lower your risk of these conditions. Sleep deprivation can also increase your risk of a motor vehicle accident two to four times. ”

Perhaps just as important as the length of time you are sleeping is the quality of sleep you are getting. “Take a proactive approach to bed times,” said Dr. Livornese. “Go to sleep at the same time every night and make sure to allow yourself seven to nine hours of sleep, even on the weekends.”

Other tips for improving your sleep quality include:

  • Make your bedroom the ideal sleep environment. The room you’re sleeping in should be kept quiet, dark and cool for the best possible sleep.
  • Check the condition of your bed and pillows. A good pillow should prop up the head, neck and shoulders and it should also feel comfortable to help you get a good night’s sleep and feel well-rested.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular vigorous exercise will improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Turn off electronics while sleeping. Electronic devices in the bedroom disrupt the natural pattern of the sleep-wake cycle, and people who leave their devices on throughout the night typically get less hours of sleep and poorer quality of sleep.

Dr. Livornese reminds you to not only be proactive about seeking ways to get a good night’s sleep on World Sleep Day, but all year round.

“Sleep deficiency interferes with your physical, mental, and psychological health, but a sleep disorder is not always apparent,” he said. “Speak with your physician about testing if you suspect a sleep disorder.”

MMC’s Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center offers convenient access to home sleep studies at its Southern Campus in Lakewood. Patients now have the option of picking up the equipment, getting the needed education on home set up and the return of the equipment at MMCSC. Sleep study patients who choose the option of coming to MMCSC will be scheduled with an appointment in the hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation area and will be registered in the MMCSC outpatient registration area.

Your referring physician will receive detailed reports on patient diagnoses and suggested follow-up treatment. For more information on the Home Sleep Disorders Program at MMCSC or the Sleep Disorders Center at MMC, call 732.923.7660